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Episode #1.3 

Whilst would-be killer Andrew Newton is caught, claiming that he was hired by persons unknown, Norman persists in his accusations that Jeremy employed him and has their love letters ... See full summary »


Stephen Frears


John Preston (based on book 'A Very English Scandal: Sex, Lies and a Murder Plot at the Heart of the Establishment' by), Russell T. Davies

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Whishaw ... Norman Scott
Chris Grahamson Chris Grahamson ... Minehead Constable
Michele Dotrice ... Edna Friendship
Blake Harrison ... Andrew 'Gino' Newton
Hugh Grant ... Jeremy Thorpe
Paul Hilton Paul Hilton ... David Holmes
Monica Dolan ... Marion Thorpe
Jonathan Hyde ... David Napley
Patricia Hodge ... Ursula Thorpe
Paul Sloss ... Stuart Kuttner
Brett Allen Brett Allen ... Anthony Johnson
Alex Jennings ... Peter Bessell
Steffan Rhodri Steffan Rhodri ... D.C.S. Michael Challes
Flora Montgomery ... Diane Kelly
Rhys Parry Jones ... John Le Mesurier


Whilst would-be killer Andrew Newton is caught, claiming that he was hired by persons unknown, Norman persists in his accusations that Jeremy employed him and has their love letters published, forcing Jeremy's resignation. Jeremy also loses his seat at the general election and is charged with conspiracy to murder. He is defended by the unconventional George Carman, who refuses to let him testify and fiercely attacks prosecution witness Peter Bessell and Norman himself. A summing up by a less than impartial judge also contributes to the jury's verdict though for the triumphant party it may be seen as a Pyrrhic victory. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Release Date:

3 June 2018 (UK) See more »

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Did You Know?


Philanthropist Sir Jack Hayward donated hundreds of thousands of pounds to the Liberal party, during the time of the Thorpe affair. A year prior to the attempted murder of Norman Scott, Thorpe had asked Hayward to cover election expenses by making payments to a business associate named Nadir Dinshaw, who was also godfather to his son Rupert. Thorpe then used one of the payments to purchase the incriminating collection of letters to Norman Scott and allegedly leveraged the threat of deportation against Dinshaw to keep him from telling the police. The misuse of party funds is what journalists and pundits claim caused David Steel to demand Thorpe's resignation from the Liberal Party on May 10, 1976. See more »


Ben Wishaw (Norman Scott) is seen sitting on the top deck of a number 23 bus passing what is clearly intended to be Jeremy Thorpe's real residence, a flat at Orme Court on Bayswater Road, London W2. The 23 bus route was introduced in 1992, some 13 years after the Jeremy Thorpe trial was conducted. In 1979 the only double-decker London Transport bus routes passing Thorpe's flat were the number 12 and the number 88. The number 23 was introduced as a variant of the number 15 route and passed through Bayswater from Shepherds Bush to East Ham along Westbourne Grove, to the north. See more »


Sir Joseph Cantley: I now turn to the evidence of Mr Scott. You will remember him well - a hysterical, warped personality, and an accomplished sponger. Very skilful at exciting and exploiting sympathy. A spineless, neurotic character, addicted to self-advertisement. He is a crook, he is a fraud, he is a sponger, he is a whiner, he is a parasite. Of course, I'm not suggesting that you should not believe him. That is for you - I'm not expressing any opinion. You have seen this wretched Scott in the witness box. You ...
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References Dad's Army (1968) See more »


Knock on Wood
Written by Eddie Floyd & Stephen Lee
Performed by Amii Stewart
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User Reviews

Episode 3
4 June 2018 | by Prismark10See all my reviews

By the time episode 3 was broadcast, the Jeremy Thorpe scandal was making headline news again as the police tried to contact the alleged hitman Andrew Newton who was presumed dead. The farce just continues.

Events spiral out of control in Thorpe's life, the police are now interested in questioning him and he stands trial at the Old Bailey but not before he loses his seat in the May 1979 general election.

Thorpe could consider himself fortunate. His barrister was George Carmen, he managed to get Ken Dodd off his tax problems. Carmen was so good they said he could get Stevie Wonder a pilot's licence!

More importantly the prosecution witnesses were unreliable. Peter Bessell would double his money on a guilty outcome. Norman Scott's behaviour had been so erratic, he could easily be painted as a slippery character. In fact Scott was portrayed better here in withstanding his cross examination than in the real life court case where he was just seen as capricious and a fool. (Even the director of this drama Stephen Frears has mentioned how Scott who had a private viewing of the series told everybody this was a wonderful piece and later said it was dreadful.)

Thorpe's case was aided by the judge's rather slanted summing up where he damned Scott's character. An incident that was mocked by the comedian Peter Cook, footage of which was shown at the end credits.

Russell T Davies has delivered a wonderful black comedy. He has been greatly assisted by his actors, even Paul Freeman makes a last minute attempt at larceny as a scene stealing turn as the judge.

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